Our team consists of young Europeans with different research focuses and interests. We have experience from several universities, organizations from both national and international levels, and wide-ranging experience from a number of publications. All opinions and views expressed in the articles are those of the authors.

jaakko-roundJaakko Salonen
founder, managing editor

Jaakko has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki. His thesis focused on the use of ‘the people’ in populist rhetoric and on its relation with popular sovereignty and representative democracy. Jaakko has also studied Politics & Sociology at University College London (SSEES) and International Relations at Universidad Europea de Madrid. He is currently working in the business world but has previous experience from organizations such as the United Nations, the State Treasury of Finland and the Finnish Institute in Madrid. He has also been an active participant in student journalism at his university. Always longing for answers, Jaakko is passionate about cross-country dialogue, inspiring stories, and is eager to understand the logic of things around him from nationalism to beer brewing.

stefano-roundStefano Merlo

Stefano is completing his M.A. in Legal and Political Theory at University College London, where he is section editor of the International Public Policy Review and contributor for Pi Media. He is an avid reader of articles and literature dealing with the democratic justification of the EU, global ethics, theories of equality and immigration. He tries to mix this normative approach with the quantitative tools learned during the MSc in Economic Policy (UCL), which sparkled his curiosity toward Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy in the EU. He loves every sport that starts or ends with ‘board’, but is good at none.

luca-roundLuca Hodges-Ramon

Luca holds a Master’s degree in Political Sociology from University College London (SSEES). His research interests lie in the intersection between sport and socio-politics, with particular reference to national identity, nationalism, populism, authoritarianism and the construction of power. His MA thesis explored these very issues in relation to the politics of sport – specifically football – under the incumbent Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán; the findings of which he recently presented at FIFA. He intends to expand this research when he begins his doctorate at UCL in September. Luca also has experience in football journalism, and as well as founding Beyond the Field of Play, he edits The Gentleman Ultra, and contributes to the digital outlet of The Guardian. As an Anglo-Italian, the complexities of European identity resonate strongly and he believes that European-wide discussion is required now more than ever.
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Danny Bird

Danny holds a Master’s degree in History from University College London (SSEES). His main research interest is modern Russian and European history, particularly the early Soviet Union. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in History at the University of Sheffield, where he specialized in twentieth-century Spain. He also has an interest in historiography and contemporary society’s relationship with the past in order to legitimize itself. Currently studying the Russian language, he is keen to add more languages to his repertoire going forward. A passionate internationalist, Danny believes candid engagement with history is more urgent than ever if Europe and the wider world are to learn from the destructive patterns of the past.

charlotte-roundCharlotte Bonnet

Charlotte is currently finishing her Master’s degree in Global Development at the University of Copenhagen, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Politics. She strives to deepen her knowledge of international issues by viewing events from as many perspectives as possible. Being half French, half Danish, has strengthened her own understanding of the intricacies of existing value systems and social realities. Charlotte has completed various internships both in Paris and Copenhagen, including at the WHO, the Danish Embassy in Paris, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is currently working for Tana, a Copenhagen-based development consulting firm specialised in governance and stabilisation projects in conflict- and post-conflict states in Africa and the Middle East. Her professional as well as personal experiences have steered her attention towards the complexity of international development, humanitarian aid, and corporate and political interests. She is an avid reader of news and novels, and has a passionate relationship with food.


Désirée Hermann

Désirée holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Gothenburg, specialised in Development Economics. She completed an exchange semester at the University of Warwick, UK, and spent a year of high school in France. She is interested in the intersection between social and economic development, inequality, and political economy. She has experience from the youth-led organisation European Youth Parliament and is passionate about youth participation. She recently completed an internship at the Swedish Mission to the United Nations and will be working for NGOs in Colombia before starting her Master’s degree in September.

borja-roundBorja Negrete

Borja lives through movies, politics and culture. He is currently working for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, and also contributes to a weekly broadcast on Radio Internacional. He holds Master’s degrees in both Journalism from Universidad CEU San Pablo and Global Trade from the business school ESIC. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Universidad Europea de Madrid, where he was also director of a university radio show called Destellos. Borja’s interest in international relations has taken him to New York, where he worked at the Spanish Consulate, and to Coventry, UK, where he studied for one academic term. In addition to radio and journalism, his passion for words and writing resulted in publishing his first novel at the age of 22. Borja believes that communication is the best tool to strengthen social and cultural bonds between people and he will keep doing his part.
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liliana-roundLiliana Onorato

Having obtained a First-Class Honours BA degree in Language and Culture, Liliana is currently completing her MA in Russian Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London (UCL). Her research interests cover cultural, social and political issues connected to Italy and Russia. After having moved from Italy to the UK at a young age to study, Liliana has also lived in Russia where she has been coordinator for the European Union Cultural Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in Moscow. Passionate about classical music, she has also been an active member of the UCL Music Society with which she took part in numerous concerts and two operas and for which she also worked as part of the production team.

clara-roundClara Stellbrink

Clara is currently finishing her Master’s degree in International Relations at Higher School of Economics in Moscow. She has previously studied at University College London, where she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies. Her research interests range from Russian domestic politics, Russian philology and culture to EU-Russia relations and issues of global governance. Clara has previously worked for the German Embassy in Moscow where she was primarily engaged in research and project work regarding the German minority in the Russian Federation. Besides her interest in politics and languages, she is a passionate musician and loves exploring new things, meeting new people and visiting new places.

Guest contributors

Rebecca E. Gomez | Twitter | LinkedIn
Tessa van Rens | LinkedIn
Franziska Zimmerer | LinkedIn
Chris McBride | Twitter